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Business - November 27, 2023

Unmasking the life of an alleged serial fraudster

By Ifeanyin Collins Ogbuji

Chief Collins Ogbuji is a consummate and forward-looking businessman in legitimate chains of businesses spanning several sectors.

Like every businessman, he believes he should keep expanding the frontiers of his business for higher prospects. Little did he know that not all men are worthy to be enlisted as business partners.

Luck or better still ill luck made him meet one alleged fraudulent man, Joseph Umezugha, who asked him to invest in his hotel as he needed funds to complete the same.

As stated by Joseph Umezugha and as contained in the Partnership Agreement that was mutually signed by the duo, the cost of the land and what he had spent so far on the construction of the hotel was a total sum of N110 million.

He, therefore, asked the unsuspecting Collins Ogbuji to invest an equal amount of N110 million to complete the construction and furnishing of the hotel to make him a partner in the hotel business with equal equity.

Contrary to the allegations by Joseph Umezugha that Collins Ogbuji approached him to be an investor in his hotel, Collins Ogbuji never met nor knew who Joseph Umezugha Agbala was until Collins’s kinsman, Onyebuchi Igwe who is based in Port Harcourt, introduced Joseph Umezugha to him as his friend who was looking for a person to invest in his hotel at No. 1, Liberty Estate Road, Okokomaiko, Ojo, Lagos to complete same.

However, Joseph Umezugha allegedly continued to demand more money, contrary to the N110 million agreement between them, until Collins Ogbuji paid the total sum of N185 million.

Still, he was said to have been demanding more, even though Collins Ogbuji insisted on Joseph Umezugha giving proper accounts of the money already collected and showing the items procured before he could pay any other money.

Joseph Umezugha Agbala allegedly refused to give any accounts and promised to deal with Collins Ogbuji for having the audacity to challenge his authority over his property.

True to Joseph Umezugha Agbala’s threats, the event took an entirely different dimension as he was alleged to have started threatening Collins Ogbuji, warning him not to come near the hotel.

To Collins Ogbuji’s amazement, Joseph Umezugha’s wife, son, and their lawyer (C.O. ABUBU ESQ.) wrote separate letters to him, stating that their husband and father, Joseph Umezugha, fraudulently forged their signatures to make Collins Ogbuji a Director in De-Jessica Hotel to obtain money from him.

It is, however, instructive to state that, as of now, Collins Ogbuji’s company, Colbex Systems Ltd, is the owner of half of the land and half of the entire hotel buildings (De Jessica Hotel), its fixtures and fittings at No. 1, Liberty Estate Road, Okokomaiko, Ojo, Lagos by virtue of the Deed of Assignment dated 7th September 2021, prepared by Joseph Agbala Umezugha’s lawyer, Ikechukwu Ukadike, and duly signed by Joseph Umezugha, thanks to Collins Ogbuji’s lawyer who insisted on the Deed of Assignment (as stipulated by the Partnership Agreement) before further payments could be made after Collins Ogbuji had paid the mutually agreed N110 million

He has since been charged on the under-listed count charges amidst defrauding three(3) other victims by his alleged acts that led to the sealing of the hotel by the Federal High Court:

1. That he collected the sum of Sixty-Six Million (N66,000,000) sometime in January 2022 under false pretence from the complainant through his Zenith Bank Account no 1013654421, thereby committing an offence punishable under the Advance Fee Fraud & other Offences Act. He was alleged to have fraudulently misrepresented himself to Chief Collins as a businessman & the owner of Saint Joe International Agency by which he collected the sum of N66m, an offence punishable under the Advance Fee Fraud & other Offences Act No 14 of 2006.

2. “That he converted the said sum of N66m collected in January 2022 and converted it into personal use, thereby committing an offence punishable under the Money Laundry Act (Prohibition Act, 2011).

3. “That you Joseph Okwudilli Umezugha, sometime in January 2022, in Lagos State, within the aforementioned judicial division of the Federal High Court, did knowingly forge a document titled: ‘Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy’ with Registration No. 62 at Page 62 in Volume 2014J dated 10th day of May 2014 with the intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine whether in Nigeria or elsewhere to the prejudice of Uchechukwu Umel Elxor ‘m and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014″.

Going by these alleged antecedents, opinions are rife that Chief Joseph Umezugha Agbala is an alleged ‘Con Master and serial Fraudster who derives joy in perpetrating evil.’

Contrary to the stories allegedly being peddled around by Joseph Okwudili Umezugha Agbara and his social media conspirators to gain undue public sympathy and perverse the course of justice, he is presently facing three (3) different criminal charges, separately filed by 3 different law enforcement agencies in 3 different courts, for using one same hotel, De Jessica Hotel, to fraudulently collect about N627m at different times from 3 different individuals, namely Ifeanyi Collins Ogbuji, Uchechukwu Umeh Elxor and Chris Brown Umeh (Eze Ndigbo Japan).

Curiously and interestingly, Joseph Okwudili Umezugha, known as Agbara, allegedly told the three of them similar stories to defraud them of their hard-earned money at three different times.

He allegedly asked each of them to invest in his hotel as a partner, and he fraudulently entered into partnership agreements with all of them as partners over and in respect of the same hotel.

The hotel was even sealed by the order of the Federal High Court arising from one of the suits filed against him by one of the other three (3) victims.

It was not Mr Collins or EFCC that sealed the hotel as against the alleged lies being peddled to the innocent public by his co-fraudulent media accomplices who are only enjoying his patronage.

Do you have a compelling story to tell? Contact us via our email: espinewsng@gmail.com or call/WhatsApp on 08032519246.

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